Tuesday, July 28, 2015

More Stuff

I am watching the “next generation” go after more stuff.

Our grown adult children all have jobs that make more money than we, their parents, could have ever dreamed of.

As teachers, we understand the importance of being what we teach.

Integrity, honesty, good work ethic, intelligence, perception, accuracy and inspiration.

We see all these qualities in our grown children.

We are astounded at the money they spend on holiday presents for their children,  our grandchildren.

We see them incorporating good manners, attention to vocabulary, and many other fine qualities.

But we see a kind of malaise, a kind of taking it for granted that money is the best true goal.

In Napolean Hill’s writings, he warns against this growing focus, even with his view from several decades ago.

All his writings about wealth incorporate expressing the qualities of a good work ethic and good character.

The things that are becoming even more important to me is to treat each person as though s/he is precious.

The value of a person is their being, not their bank account.

How we express kindness, consideration, compassion, understanding.

How often we can be an uplifting or calming influence in tense situations.

How we can cut through all the self-condemnation or envy or sense of unfairness.

First we have to cut through it for ourselves, then we can gently see a newness and delight permeate our own lives as we live simply and let go of the importance of stuff.

As we focus on the power of goodness and love and happiness, we see it expand in ever-widening circles around us.

We hear good news from others.

We can feel the presence of the Infinite Beneficent Universe infusing the world with this kind of power.

This is creating the conflict and the change.

It is giving us all a different basis from which to live.

© 2015 Kathryn Hardage

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Calm About Food

Over the years, I find the way I eat changing significantly.

While I was in college and working, I drove from rehearsal to rehearsal and ran from class to class, cooking and grabbing food on the way.

For so many years, I was in a rush to cook dinner for my family, teach music lessons, clean the house, and organize children’s activities.

Eating was basically about having enough strength to fuel all those actions.

Now, as I am taking the time to learn more about food and to change my cooking and eating habits, I realize the opportunity to eat in a calm manner along with eating better quality food is making quite a difference in my life.

I am no longer “hungry” all the time.

I consciously notice that my home-canned “beans and greens” are very satisfying.  I don’t keep looking for things to snack on.

When I do snack, it is on nuts and fruits or homemade yogurt and homemade fruit preserves.

The organic meats that I cook taste like the food from my childhood in the fifties.

The first time I served bison hot dogs, just for variety and interest, I noticed that my teenage son was full after eating only two of them, instead of needing three or four of the brand name hot dogs I bought in the past.

A recent video comparing the amount of pesticides consumed by a family before and after two weeks of eating organic food alerts us to the need to be very caring and purposeful about what we eat.

Now, I am learning how to grow some of my own food in a container garden (no weeds) in my backyard.

It has been a case of learning one thing at a time and then creating the habit of doing that thing, and then learning the next thing to do about food.

Gradually, more of my budget has been taken over by the higher quality of food, but I am calmer.  

Now that I am doing so much canning, my budget is evening out, and so is my time.

Body and budget, and therefore mind and emotions are calmer, too.

© 2015 Kathryn Hardage